Doors: 19:30 / Start time: 20:30
Location: Spektrum Berlin
14 August, 2016

Xenometrics is XEN’s inaugural film program analysing the impact of digital surveillance on non-normative bodies, sexual desires, and practices. The screening will be followed by a conversation that extends queer and feminist critique to a debate on biometric technologies and dataveillance.

In an era of increasing digital-surveillance and info-militarism, we realise that the targets of certain oppressive gazes (defined by Lacan as the state of unease and anxiety provoked by the feeling that one might be under observation) are not only state-proclaimed criminals but also all citizens: all potential deviants to the state order, with taxes to pay. 

From CCTV, drones, border checks, and police raids, the immense dragnet of surveillance extends to even more intimate mechanisms, collecting data and metadata from personal emails, social media, and clouds. With the latest technologies of biometric surveillance and dataveillance, our physical and virtual bodies have become rich pools for data-mining. Yet, under mechanic scrutiny, surveillance has a normative effect on how bodies should look in order to distinguish the “citizen” from the “terrorist” and the “normal” from the “deviant,” an algorithmic supremacy that perpetuates ableism, classism, homophobia, sexism, racism, and transphobia.

If on one hand visibility has been used by minorities as a political tool to gain recognition, invisibility and privacy became vital for those with nonconforming identities. As concealment becomes forbidden within the neoliberal order, obligating bodies to be citizens and to assume a position of availability to be profiled and identified, marginalised minorities – such as gender non-conforming and trans* people – see their identities exposed to biometric scrutiny under the excuse of being threats, terrorists, or deviants to the civil order.

Leitão, O retrato de Irineu (2014, 4′)
Signe Pierce & Alli Coates, American Reflexxx (2013, 14′)
Zach Blas, Facial Weaponization Communiqué: Fag Face (2012, 8′)
Amalia Ulman, The Future Ahead - Improvements for the further masculinisation of prepubescent boys (2015, 16′)
Adam Butcher, Bradley Manning had secrets (2011, 5′)
Ghost + Cow, Drone Boning (2014, 3′)

Curated by Pedro Marum and Lou Drago.